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Common Questions and Answers
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The goal of most organizations is to reduce onboarding time to rack-up sales quickly, but that typically results in an unprepared sales department. While this practice is more common in remote teams, in-office professionals also struggle to make sales if they aren’t well trained.
If you want to equip new hires with the skills and techniques they need to succeed, you’ll need to invest in a quality training process that’s effortlessly weaved into your onboarding strategy.
At the end of your onboarding program, your new hires should understand:
No onboarding process can be accomplished in a day. In fact, it could take your team several months to reach full productivity unless you streamline your onboarding experience.
Before onboarding your first employee, invest in the technology you’ll need to make the process less tedious. For example, GoCo streamlines the onboarding process by automating manual tasks, eliminating paperwork, and customizing features that allow for a more flexible experience.
You can also use technology to improve your training modules. Candidates are able to engage more with video-based training modules than text-based documents. However, If you add gamification techniques to your modules, you can make onboarding fun, exciting, and relevant.
For example, you could create a software scavenger hunt that tasks sales staff to find and use features on daily tools. Or, you could use a checklist creator that walks employees through modules.
Candidates form an impression of your company well before they’re hired. 75% of applicants will research a company’s reputation before handing over their resume, and you could lose their attention if your website, social media profiles, or press releases fail to impress or inspire them.
To ensure your values and culture are communicated effectively, spruce up your company’s image. Stay in contact with all job candidates throughout the hiring process and contact them if there are unexpected delays or if the candidate wasn’t moved to the next step and why.
Remote or in-person interviews should start with employee introductions. Your candidates should feel like they’re already a part of the team, as that makes your company their first choice.
Too much time is spent on signing paperwork or other administrative tasks on the first day, but all of this can be accomplished before your employee gets started. It’s also common for employers to ignore new hires until their first day, which is a missed opportunity to connect.
Hiring managers should welcome new staff into the team by cleaning their office, testing needed technology, providing them with gifts, and asking new employees to introduce themselves. If you need to give them a parking permit or security badge, make sure that’s supplied before Day 1.
Be sure to welcome your new hire on social media platforms (if they feel comfortable to do so). Ask other team members to share the post or offer congratulations on their new position.
The best sales staff can sell your products as a solution to your customer’s pain points. But if your staff don’t know what those are, that can be an impossible task. That’s why you need to give your new employees the time to explore the product and its features on their own.
Not only does this give them the space to develop their unique sales point, but it also helps them understand why people love your product. Your product development and marketing team can help guide this study by showcasing new features, changes, and current advertising points.
It also helps to show client testimonials, as it can offer insight as to why they chose your product over the competitors. Don’t forget to teach them about new sales-based industry trends.
It’s essential to start your new hires off slow, as it takes the pressure off while they’re learning your product. But at some point, you’ll need to gradually increase their sales quotas. You can determine the correct time based on data from past hires and their relative sales ability.
If you have a long sales cycle, you’ll need to extend your ramp-up period. However, most sales departments will add 90 days to the typical sales cycle for trainees to give them some wiggle room. During training, offer a flexible compensation plan, so they aren’t worried about finances.
You’ll need to meet with sales representatives regularly to assess their performance. If a new hire is consistently underperforming, you may need to consider termination or an extension.
Sales skills carry over from other sales positions, but they may not help them sell your specific product. For this reason, you should give your sales representatives the opportunity to watch your best salespeople in action. It’s the most effective way for new hires to learn their role.
Ask one of your staff to prepare a presentation on the full sales cycle and why it works. Then, allow new hires to sit in on a call or listen to recorded scenarios to show them a few rejection handling techniques. Later, perform mock sales calls to test them on their selling abilities.
While shadowing can be a part of your mentorship program, it’s better to watch your new hires first to determine mentorship fit. This will ensure pairs will learn from the mentorship experience.
If a sales representative is replacing a previous salesperson, you’ll need to introduce them to existing clients. You should never place new hires on a sales call with an existing client without a proper introduction, as that could alienate your customers and scare your employees.
When introducing customers to new salespeople, be sure to accommodate your customer’s communication preferences. For example, if your client prefers to communicate via email, don’t call them. If you’re going to call them, make sure your client has time to speak to the new hire.
Alternatively, you could host a social event that’s dedicated to introducing your staff to existing clients. Clients are likely to prefer a casual setting, as they remove business-based pressures.
About the author
Rupert Jones is a wealth and wellness motivational speaker who also loves to contribute his discoveries in the tech industry. He enjoys cooking while being accompanied by his nosy cat. Catch up with him over at his online space.